If you have an office job, you probably feel like writing emails emails rule your life. Let’s face it–they kind of do. Emails are fundamental to professional communication, yet nobody tells us how to do it correctly.
Well, all the confusion can go away. Victoria Turk, a senior editor at Wired UK, gives a short TEDx talk on the perfect email etiquette. Look at these main points that will revolutionize your work life and help you with writing emails.
The fundamental principle of email-writing is to reduce the burden of email as much as possible. Think of emails less as formal letters and more as professional post-it notes.
You want to save and respect peoples’ time in the process. Make the emails clear and concise. When asked about email etiquette, American writer Merlin Mann says:
“Assume that everyone you’re communicating with is smarter than you and cares more than you and is busier than you.”
“Hi” followed by the recipient’s name, is usually the best professional greeting. “Dear” can be saved for truly formal matters.
You don’t need to greet the recipient in every email. If it’s an ongoing conversation, treat it as such. The best rule of thumb to follow is to only greet during the first exchange of the day.
Set boundaries for yourself. You don’t need to always be on call. It is up to the sender to set the tone for when you respond. People should understand when you’re off the clock.
There is never an excuse not to express gratitude. Don’t forget to say “please” and “thank you,” just like you would in verbal conversation. Avoid being rude in an effort to be concise.
When it comes time to close out a thread, always sign off. Some options are “best wishes,” “best,” or “all the best.” Other sign-offs are too formal or too intimate.
The CC rule is:
Primary recipients of an email should be in the “to” field. Other recipients of an email included as a courtesy should go in the CC field.
You only really need to respond if you’re a primary recipient.
These revolutionary rules to email etiquette could change the work world for the better. This could make the communication side of your job so much more enjoyable. If you would like to hear the speech in more detail, check out the video below.
For more insight, consider our article How to Succeed When the Moment Counts.